Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for strong language and adult themes
Run Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Contentious comedian Dave Chappelle knows how to throw a party, in this case a Brooklyn-based block bash cum concert that lets loose with wit and style.
Rubber-faced Dave is a mass of contradictions both onscreen and off; self-imposed showbiz exile torn between the image of rising superstar and staying true to his humble roots. Trailed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and cinematographer Ellen Kuras Dave sets out on a dizzy mission to distribute free golden tickets to a rap-heavy fete that’s going to rock the house.
humor and a uniquely mellow vibe characterize this unique concert film. Dave
wanders the backroads of his
He waxes prosaic on a wacky variety of subjects ranging from racism to fashion with goofy gusto. Even the local mini-mart cashier isn’t safe from Dave’s relentless good cheer tinged with caustic savvy.
Once the players are in place it’s time to disco; the coolest cats in the business congregating freestyle. Kanye West raps his fervent best while Erykah Badu soulfully makes love to the crowd from under the world’s largest afro; Jill Scott trumps woman-power with great gusto and notorious gangsta band Dead Prez tears it down.
Though Dave assembles cast and crowd with generous promises of gratis transport and digs he’s no goody-two-shoes. His humor is coal black and laced with enough razor-sharp edges to counterbalance his combustible enthusiasm and hilarious one-liners. He claims to have talked his way into a personal fortune; the fortune is ours for this contagious and enigmatic doc.